Conservation Programs (Ecuadorian Amazon)

The Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest is a unique living treasure. The ecosystems in this paradise harmonically interact with each other to maintain the natural balance of the environment. The habitat has been threatened by invasive industries whose constant exploitation have endangered many wildlife species, almost to the point of extinction.

Anakonda Amazon Cruises is taking the initiative to conserve and restore this area through the preservation of endangered species and the surrounding environment, the Ecuadorian Amazon basin. Through programs with local communities, our cruise line is working to save charapas turtles and pink river dolphins. Along the way, we are helping our guests learn about conservation and giving them an opportunity to participate directly in the protection of this unique living treasure.


This isn’t Seaworld.

All the dolphins you see in the Amazon are wild and free.

Each time you get a view is a special, authentic moment.

The Amazon pink river dolphin is one of five dolphin species that have evolved to live in freshwater. They are slightly smaller than sea dolphins and are often pink, although the shades of their skin may vary from a soft grey to pink when they are exposed to different lighting conditions.

Pink river dolphins are top predators within their habitat. If their population declines, a cascading environmental effect will occur. The pollution of the Amazon River waters, in addition to the degradation of the rainforest surroundings and illegal hunting, has compromised the survival of these dolphins. The IUCN Red List has limited information about these creatures.

In 2010, through a collaboration with the Kichwa community of Martinica in the Cocaya region, Anakonda Amazon Cruises designated this region as a protected area for pink river dolphins and has worked together to protect them and keep their population stable. Dolphins are, of course, allowed in and out of the region, but there is no hunting of the dolphins permitted. Having areas like this within the Amazon is crucial to the survival of the species.

Since the program has started, the number of visible dolphins within the region has increased from 4 to 10.

River cruise guests interact with the dolphins and get to feed them when they visit the Cocaya region. This collaboration affords the communities the ability to support themselves in a sustainable way.

Interacting with the pink river dolphins is one of the highlights of the trip, a magical moment that brings you right up and close with nature in the wild.

By participating in this experience guests are helping support tourism in the area, which in turn, means supporting conservation of the Amazon.


You get to free a charapas turtle into the wild!

The Amazon basin is the home of one of the largest South American river turtles, the charapas turtles. Sometimes, the charapas are called “sideneck turtles” because of their inability to pull their heads into their shells. Instead, they bend it sideways to tuck their heads under their shells, leaving a part exposed.

The charapas lay their eggs in river banks during the dry season, making them very easy to find. In Ecuador, these eggs are illegally harvested for human consumption and they can be bought in local markets. This practice has put the survival of this species in danger. According to the IUCN Red List, the charapas turtles fall under a “vulnerable” classification. Another threat, in addition to the marketing of their eggs, is the illegal capture and trading of the turtles as high-priced pets on the black market.

In 2010, Anakonda Amazon Cruises started a collaborative program with the Wildlife Conservation Society Ecuador (WCS) and the local communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon basin to protect the charapas turtles. The purpose of the program is to protect the existing turtles and repopulate this endemic species.

Through controlled, protected breeding, the charapas are able to survive. The local communities along the river protect the river banks where the charapas lay their eggs. Community members take care of the eggs and hatchlings until they are old enough to be released. Their work is supported by the tourism industry.

Anakonda Amazon Cruises brings guests to these river banks for an experience where they have the opportunity to sponsor a charapa turtle and get it to free from the protected area into the wild.

Original Post: https://anakondaamazoncruises.com/conservation-programs/

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